Providing Innovative Lithium Processing Solutions
This Standard Lithium Ltd. profile is part of a paid investor education campaign.*
By leveraging the existing infrastructure and operational expertise of the largest brine processing facilities in North America, Standard Lithium is leading a new wave of US lithium production. Utilizing proprietary advanced processing technologies and strategic partnerships, the company believes new lithium production can be achieved quickly and more cost-effectively.
The company’s flagship project, the over 150,000-acre “Lanxess project”, is located in the prolific and productive Smackover brine region of southern Arkansas. By securing access to the strategic resource through agreements with the region’s largest commercial brine operator, Standard Lithium plans to leverage the extensive existing infrastructure and permits in order to fast-track the projects’ development timelines. Arkansas produces about 9.4 billion gallons of brine annually, according to 2010-16 average statistics reported by the Arkansas Oil & Gas Commission.
Standard Lithium’s patent-pending direct lithium extraction process is the key to unlocking this strategic domestic critical mineral resource. The direct extraction process, known as “LiSTR” has the potential to vastly reduce the recovery time of extracting lithium from brine from as long as a year for conventional evaporation pond processing to just several hours. The process may also prove to be much more environmentally friendly with a significantly smaller footprint – compared to the conventional evaporation pond processes.
STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIPS ARE KEY FOR SUCCESS
Standard Lithium and global specialty chemical company Lanxess AG have signed both a binding memorandum of understanding (MOU) and a general joint venture (JV) term sheet agreement for a contemplated commercial production of battery-grade lithium compounds from brine extracted from the Smackover formation in south Arkansas.
LANXESS’ land operations in Southern Arkansas encompass more than 150,000 acres, 10,000 brine leases and surface agreements and 250 miles of pipelines. LANXESS extracts the brine from their wells located throughout the area, and the brine is transported to the three Arkansas plants through a network of pipelines.
The MOU and JV agreements allow Standard Lithium to demonstrate its proprietary LiSTR direct lithium extraction technology on the premises of Lanxess’ southern brine processing plant. By connecting directly to the existing “tail brine” stream of Lanxess’ permitted operations the company is saving both significant time and infrastructure cost.
A recently completed positive preliminary economic assessment (PEA)* targets the production of 20,900 tonnes of lithium carbonate from a 3,140,000 tonnes lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) indicated resource.
All model outputs are expressed on a 100 percent project ownership basis
 Total production, using existing brine supply rates at the completion of Phase 3
 Plant operation commences upon completion of Phase 1
 Includes 25 percent contingency of both direct and indirect capital costs
 Selling prices ranging between US$10,840-16,260/tonne were modeled as part of sensitivity analysis
As part of the joint venture with LANXESS, Standard Lithium is also pursuing the resource development of 30,000 acres of separate brine leases located in southwest Arkansas, which recently reported a maiden NI 43-101 inferred resource of roughly 800,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent. The company expects to complete a PEA in the near term.
South Arkansas Lithium Brine Project
South Arkansas is North America’s largest and most prolific brine production and processing region. The area produces approximately 9.4 billion gallons of brine annually, primarily for the production of bromine, according to reports from the Arkansas Oil and Gas Commission. Lithium grades in the region range from 50 milligrams per liter to 500 milligrams per liter.
The key to unlocking this resource is Standard Lithium’s breakthrough rapid lithium extraction process that selectively recovers lithium from a variety of brine streams including waste or “tail brine”. The process eliminates the use of evaporation ponds and reduces the recovery time of extracting lithium from brine from the current industry method that takes months to as little as several hours. Standard Lithium believes new lithium production can be brought on stream rapidly by minimizing project risks at the selection stage by leveraging advances in lithium extraction technologies and processes. The company has minimal requirements for mining, reduced permitting risk and access to low-cost chemical reagents.
Standard Lithium chose south Arkansas as a key development target because it combines a very large resource potential, with well-studied and documented geology and hydrogeology, along with a permitting regime that has a long history of approving operations that remove, process and re-inject massive volumes of brine. The area has significant infrastructure such as power, rail, gas, water, trained workforce and cheap reagents.
Industrial-scale Rapid Lithium Extraction Demonstration Plant
Standard Lithium has completed the mobilization of Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the company’s “LiSTR” direct lithium extraction demonstration plant and the modules are currently being installed at LANXESS’ South Plant facility in Arkansas. All site construction work is on schedule and the company expects the final shipments of modules in the near term.
The partnership between LANXESS and Standard Lithium allows the company to locate and operate an industrial-scale demonstration plant inside one of LANXESS’ chemical production facilities. The plant is nearing completion and will utilize the company’s proprietary lithium-ion extraction process to recover lithium from tail brine that is produced as a by-product of the existing bromine production facility. The demonstration plant is designed to continuously process an input tail brine flow of 50 gallons per minute from the Lanxess South Plant, which is equivalent to an annual production of between 100 to 150 tonnes per annum lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE).
“The demonstration pilot plant is expected to be the proof of concept for our project — it is a large demonstration pilot that can be scaled directly to a commercial facility,” said CEO Robert Mintak. “Demonstration plants differ from pilot plants in that the process flowsheet much more closely resembles commercial-scale operations so we can show our partners that we can scale our technology at each stage as we push towards commercial production.”
The company is also pursuing the resource development of approximately 45,000 acres of mineral leases located in the Mojave Desert in San Bernardino County, California.
Standard Lithium Company Highlights
- US-based assets with existing permitted brine production
- Pilot plant testing successfully demonstrated battery quality (greater than 99.56 percent purity) lithium carbonate.
- JV agreement with German chemical major LANXESS, industrial-scale demonstration plant to be constructed in Q3 2019.
- Demonstration plant has been fabricated, ready for delivery to Arkansas LANXESS facility
- Partnerships in place with the University of British Columbia, SGS Lakefield, Zeton Corp. and Saltworks.
- PEA expected in the near term.
- Led by an experienced management team that includes B2 Gold Chairman Robert Cross and scientific advisory team that includes Nobel Prize winner Prof. Barry Sharpless.
- Management holds approximately five percent of shares.
Standard Lithium’s Management Team
Robert Mintak — CEO and Director
Robert Mintak has over 20 years of experience in corporate management, with a particular focus on strategic development and corporate governance. He has a global network of lithium industry contacts and is a pioneer in the rapidly evolving lithium space. He previously served as Chairman and CEO at Pure Energy Minerals. During this period, he built a world-class team, launched multiple exploration and development programs and oversaw the development of disruptive extraction process work.
Dr. Andy Robinson — President, COO and Director
Prior to joining Standard Lithium, Dr. Andy Robinson served as COO and Director for Pure Energy Minerals, leading the first NI 43-101 Inferred Resource assessment for a lithium brine deposit in North America. He developed innovative exploration, sampling and assessment techniques and was responsible for developing a world-class lithium brine process engineering team. The team was able to successfully develop an efficient and effective modern brine processing techniques that help shape the way lithium is extracted from brine. He has held senior technical and executive roles with energy and engineering companies in Europe, Africa, North America and South America. Dr. Robinson holds a PhD in Geochemistry from the University of Bristol.
Professor Jason Hein – Scientific Advisor – Selective Lithium Carbonate Crystallization Technology
Prof. Jason Hein is a recognized global expert on the development and commercial application of artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics on reaction optimization. Jason’s intellectual property (IP) protected work with Standard Lithium integrates machine learning and newly developed robotic tools to visualize and control reactions as they happen in real-time.
Ross Lewis P.ENG – Senior Project Manager
Ross Lewis has over 45 years of experience in process engineering, mechanical engineering, materials handling systems design, project management, procurement and construction in projects around the globe. Ross will project manage the procurement and construction of the LiSTR Demonstration Plant.
Robert Cross — Non-Executive Chairman & Director
Robert Cross is an engineer with 25 years of experience as a financier and company builder in the mining and oil and gas sectors. He co-founded and serves as Chairman for B2Gold, a top-performing and growing gold producer. He was co-founder and Non-Executive Chairman of Northern Orion Resources Inc. Between 1996 and 1998, Cross was chairman and CEO of Yorkton Securities Inc. He has an engineering degree from Waterloo Uni and received an MBA from Harvard 1987.
Kara Norman, CPA — CFO and Corporate Secretary
Kara Norman is a CPA with extensive experience in financial reporting for exploration-stage resource companies. She previously held the position of Controller for Strata Gold Corp. and Tintina Resources Inc. She currently holds the position of Interim CFO for Solidus Gold Inc, Asia Base Metals Inc. and Mantra Solar Systems Inc.
Anthony Alvaro — Director
Anthony Alvaro is a co-founder of Standard Lithium and has over 20 years of experience working primarily in the international capital markets. The breadth of his cap markets experience includes roles within wealth management corporate finance, institutional sales, M&A, venture capital and private equity. Over the years, Alvaro developed an interest in helping private companies enter the public markets. To date, he has helped numerous companies across industry sectors raise over $500 million in aggregate. He has also held executive and director positions with a number of private and public companies.
Jeff Barber — Director
Jeff Barber was a co-founder and Managing Partner of a boutique M&A advisory firm in Calgary. Prior to this, he was an investment banker with Raymond James Ltd. for four years. He has also held the roles of investment banker and equity researcher for Canaccord Genuity Corp. He began his career as an economist for Deloitte LLP. Barber is a certified CFA and holds a Masters degree in Finance and Economic from the University of Alberta.
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